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Australia, N.Z. Dollars Rise on Stocks Gain, Better Risk Demand

The Australian and New Zealand dollars strengthened versus their U.S. and Japanese peers, as stocks rose, supporting demand for higher-yielding currencies.

Australia’s currency recovered from declines as the Standard & Poor’s 500 index advanced, after dropping yesterday, and after a report showed job vacancies rose in the three months to August. The New Zealand dollar, nicknamed the kiwi, rallied as Reserve Bank of New Zealand Governor Alan Bollard said the central bank is in a better position than many peers to respond to any fallout from economic problems in Europe and the U.S.

“With the reversal from negative to positive territory, that has seen risk proxies like the Aussie and the kiwi reverse to their session highs,” said Sue Trinh, a senior strategist at Royal Bank of Canada in Hong Kong.

The Australian dollar rose 0.5 percent to 98.30 U.S. cents at 11:51 a.m. in New York from 97.81 cents yesterday, after earlier dropping as low as 97.02 cents. It bought 75.36 yen from 74.93 yen, after touching 74.15 yen. New Zealand’s currency rose 0.2 percent to 77.79 U.S. cents from 77.67 cents and was at 59.64 yen from 59.50 yen.

The S&P 500 Index gained 1.2 percent after falling 2.1 percent yesterday.

Australian job vacancies rose 3.2 percent in the three months to August from the quarter before, a government report showed today in Sydney. That was the first increase since the period ended November.

New Zealand’s dollar rebounded from yesterday’s decline against the dollar and the yen as Bollard said the country’s central bank is “comfortable” amid concern that Europe will struggle to resolve its debt crisis.

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